Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Worst Time of the Year

For those that don't get in, at Yale and elsewhere, it sometimes means a crushing blow -- if not for students, then for their parents, says former UVa admissions officer Marjorie Schiff:

We are acutely aware that as we decide who will be offered admission and who won't we will leave some students crestfallen. Yet they almost never call to protest an admission decision; to vent about how disappointed they are in the institution; or to threaten to sue because someone in their class with a lower grade-point average was offered admission, and they weren't. Most have realistic expectations when it comes to selective college admissions. They remember who got in where the year before and see who was deferred by Ivy League schools during early decision. They understand that being qualified or high-achieving or even the apple of mom's eye is no guarantee of admission to a top school.

It is the parents who call. Even before decision day, they call seeking advice regarding high school, or even junior high school, course selection. Or they need help with the online application. They do not find it strange that they are working on the application in the middle of the afternoon -- at home or from the office -- while their sons and daughters are at school. Increasingly, they show up to information sessions sans sons and daughters, who are apparently too busy with homework, soccer practices, drama club rehearsals or volleyball games to research their college options.

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